‘Tis the season… for a crazy, busy holiday schedule filled with shopping, traveling, hosting, and attending parties. Then there’s the holiday food – an endless array of decadent entrees, spiked beverages, and sweet treats. All these can, no doubt, wreak havoc on your skin and leave you feeling more no-no-no than ho-ho-ho.

Here are some of the ways the winter holidays can affect your skin and how you can counteract it:

Stress

Holiday stress causes your body to produce cortisol which makes your skin more sensitive and reactive. The signs of stress can show up in the form of acne breakouts, hives, and blisters. It can also cause flare-ups in skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis.

When you’re feeling stressed, take some time to relax. Some ways to help you relax and de-stress include yoga, deep breathing techniques, meditation, and massage.

Sweet treats

Sugar and carbs cause inflammation. And too much sugar triggers a reaction in the body called glycation – a process when collagen and elastin break down. On the skin, this shows up as wrinkles, sagginess, and a loss of radiance.

You don’t have to give up sweet treats for good. Slow down and savor small portions of your favorite holiday desserts. Or put a healthy twist on the classic recipes by using honey, maple syrup, or stevia instead of sugar.

Not enough getting enough sleep

With all the excitement the holiday brings, it’s easy to miss a few zzz’s. Your skin repairs itself while you’re sleeping. Not getting enough sleep can result in dull and dehydrated skin in the morning.

Not to mention, a lack of sleep also increases collagen breakdown. Less collagen accelerates aging – this means more wrinkles and decreased skin elasticity.

Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. And give your skin a little pick-me-up with a dose of antioxidants. Don’t book every night with parties and gatherings. If you can, space them out so that you get enough rest in between.

Alcohol consumption

Alcohol can dehydrate your body and your skin. This means the skin loses fluid and nutrients that are vital for healthy-looking skin. This can make the skin look wrinkled, dull, and grey, or bloated and puffy.

The effect of alcohol on your immune system and the way your cardiovascular system works affect the skin too. And it can worsen psoriasis and rosacea.

You can still drink and be merry but limit the amount of alcohol you drink and have plenty of water between alcoholic drinks to avoid dehydration. Also, you can opt for red wine over hard liquors. Red wine has healthy antioxidants.

Air Travel

The low humidity in the cabin of the plane can dehydrate the skin resulting in dry, flaky, or red skin. And if you are sitting in a window seat, you get extra exposure to closer UV rays.

Before you board, make sure your skin is super hydrated – eye cream, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Go make-up-free or minimally made-up face so as not to clog pores. And don’t forget to drink copious amounts of water (60 – 80 ounces of water daily) to hydrate from the inside out. Lastly, avoid alcohol, tea, and coffee and order a light meal.

Harsh winter weather

The cold winter air can cause the skin to dry out exponentially, leading to cracking, chapping, itchiness, and redness. And while room heaters can keep you warm, they should not be your go-to solution for the cold. They turn the air dry and can, in turn, lead to dry skin and allergies. 

Use a heavier-formula moisturizer for your nighttime skincare routine. In the daytime, apply a serum and moisturizer under your sunscreen (yes, even in the winter months you still need SPF). Twice a week, give yourself an extra soothing and hydrating mask that you leave on while you sleep.

Again, drink plenty of fluids and include flax or fish oils with your supplements. Exercise regularly as it helps increase the oxygen to your skin, making you feel warm and your skin looking youthful. Refrain from taking long, steamy showers. Instead, keep bath time short and sweet – a 5 to 10 minutes lukewarm bath or shower is much better.

And plug in a humidifier to add moisture to the air and prevent dryness.

Finally, splurge on a comforting winter facial to keep your skin shiny and bright until spring.

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For more skincare tips, visit our website, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653-4701 or email us at skinsense@skinsensewellness.com. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We will be happy to see you.

“Let me make something very clear… your skin.”

Being an aesthetician for over three decades, I know that taking care of our skin is the ultimate act of self-care. But I’m also a real person with real skin issues of my own, so I know first-hand just how confusing skincare can be. From understanding why you just got hit with a major case of adult acne or keeping abreast of the latest science behind skincare, to figuring out whether the latest buzziest ingredient is the panacea to all your skin woes (as they claim to be), I’m here to help.

I love my clients to bits but here are a few of the common confusions I stumble upon in my conversations with them at the salon.

Not knowing the ingredients in their skincare products.

One thing I find myself asking on every spa visit is “what performance ingredients are you currently using?” The answer is invariably, “I don’t know.”

As consumers, we are inundated with hundreds of skincare products every time we go to the store. And most skincare brands will put certain phrases like hydrating, clarifying, or anti-aging on their labels to grab your attention and stand out in the sea of products. With such simple labeling, it should be easy to find a product that will address your skin concerns, right? Not exactly! Often times you may end up choosing a product that claims to produce a specific result and end up with lackluster results if any at all.

One way to combat this misinformation is to be an ingredient sleuth – be a more informed consumer to find the products that will help in achieving your skincare goals.

Influenced by skinfluencers.

Social media can be a great resource and tool. But sometimes misinformation is circulated as facts, and before-and-after images can be photoshopped. It can be hard to tell who’s spreading dangerous skin care lies and who’s trustworthy… the number of followers does not always mean they know what they are talking about.

While there are skinfluencers that are licensed estheticians or dermatologists, remember that your skin is as unique as you – unique genetics, environmental exposure, and sun damage. Skincare needs to be individualized to your specific skin type. Consult with a board-certified dermatologist or a licensed esthetician who can customize your skincare regimen for optimal results.

Judging a skincare product solely by its ingredients list

The ingredient list on a skincare product can be helpful, especially if you have allergies or sensitivities. They tell you what’s in the product, in a roughly descending order, but not everything. Among the things it doesn’t tell you is the concentration of each ingredient (unless the ingredient is active), how much of the ingredient there is, how the ingredients are formulated together, the grade of an ingredient, and where the brand sources its ingredient.

Furthermore, markers like “dermatologist-tested” or “clinically proven” are fairly prevalent but are actually meaningless as there are no industry standards for designations for terms like these.

Beyond marketing and branding, skincare products are only as good as what they are made of and how they are formulated. The quality and combinations of ingredients are therefore very important. Choosing products from a reputable skincare brand can be helpful since each component may be designed to work in conjunction with the others and you can be more assured of the product’s quality.

Switching products too often

Change can be a good thing… but not when you are switching your skincare products too often. Skincare products take time to do their job. So when you have finally chosen the product for your skin stick with it for at least 3-4 months.

The skin’s outer layer, the epidermis, takes 4 weeks to completely renew. Once your skin goes through this cycle 3-4 times then you’ll have given your skin enough time to start making the real long-term changes and the results more visible.

Oily skin does not equal hydrated skin

It is important to note that although the words “dry” and “dehydrated” are often used interchangeably, the two indicate very different underlying issues when it comes to your skin. While dry skin lacks sebum (something oily complexions have in abundance), dehydrated skin lacks water. If you skip out on regular moisturizing, it can do more harm than good.

It’s important to find a moisturizer that does not add oil to the skin but is hydrating. Look for products that are lightweight and contain water-loving ingredients like linoleic and hyaluronic acid.

Finally, here are a few pieces of advice I repeatedly tell my clients.

  • The order of things. You should apply your products starting with the lightest product to applying the heaviest product. Apply cleanser first followed by toner, serum, and moisturizer. During the day, sunscreen and makeup come next.
  • Layering is great but don’t overdo it. Your skin doesn’t need six products in the morning and six in the evening. The skin can only absorb so much at one time. Using fewer products ensures better absorption and effectiveness of the ingredients you’re putting on your skin.
  • And finally, DON’T PICK!! Doing so could crack, damage, or wound the skin and cause hyperpigmentation. If you feel the need to pick, see a skincare professional.

For more beauty and skincare tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness (323) 653–4701 or email us at skinsense@skinsensewellness.com. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We will be happy to see you.

“Skin-vestment – the act of putting time, effort, and money into your skin to keep it healthy and glowing.”

Dear Marion… how much time should I spend daily on my skincare routine for it to be thorough and effective? Sincerely, Mrs. trying-hard-not-to-be high maintenance.

In my previous blog, I shared a few beauty shortcuts for when you find yourself in a time crunch. But if you really want to see brilliant results from your skin products and regimen, it’s always best to put in a sufficient amount of time every day on your skincare routine – both daytime and nighttime.

It may sound like high maintenance but, in reality, each step is necessary to achieve healthy, youthful-looking skin. So even with a busy schedule – juggling kids, a partner, and work – it is important to carve out that essential “me time” to take care of your skin.

Here is a basic plan that works out evenly for both the a.m. and p.m. skincare regimen.

MORNING ROUTINE – geared towards protection from the elements.

Step 1: Cleansing

Massage the cleanser into your skin for at least 30 seconds to a minute, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. You can rinse your face immediately, unless your cleanser contains active ingredients such as AHAs, or alpha hydroxy acids, then follow the product instructions.

Adding a silicone brush to cleansing 2-3 times a week ensures your pores stay unclogged and your skin super clean.

Wait for the skin to feel completely dry before moving on to step two. But, if you are using a toner containing hyaluronic acid, apply it immediately after cleansing while your skin is still damp. This seals in an extra layer of hydration.

Step 2: Toning

Yes – toners are important! They restore the pH of the skin, get rid of impurities and excess oils, shrink the pores, and prepare the skin to better absorb other products, such as serums and moisturizers. Some toners are also a humectant, which means that they can bind moisture to the skin.

It is most effective when applied with damp cotton, rather than sprayed on, and usually takes around 20 seconds to apply.

Step 3: Serum

Serums are lighter skin care formulations than moisturizers. Because they have thinner viscosity they are absorbed more easily and feel light on the skin.

This step should take around 30 seconds or the time it takes to smooth the product over the whole face.

Step 4: Eye Cream

The skin around your eyes is thinner, very delicate, and the first to show signs of aging. So apply creams specific to the eye area to avoid damage or irritation. If you are extremely sensitive or wear contact lenses, gel formulas may be more suitable.

It should take around 30 seconds to apply a specific eye product.

Step 5: Spot Treatment

Treat the areas with acne, blemishes, dark spots, age spots, or uneven skin tone one by one to help to reduce redness or discoloration and speed up your skin’s natural healing process.

The time this step will take depends on how many blemishes you have, but approximately it should be around 20 seconds for the application. Let the treatment dry before moving on to the next step, which could take at least one minute. Otherwise, the treatment will end up migrating to other parts of your face.

Step 6: Moisturizer

Apply the moisturizer to the face, neck, and chest.

The cream must absorb completely before moving to the next step, so wait about two minutes, or at least until the skin doesn’t feel sticky to the touch.

Step 7: Sun Cream

This is the step that should take the longest in a skincare routine. If applying it to the whole body, spend at least two minutes thoroughly applying it, and be generous. If it’s just the face and neck, a minute or two should be enough.

Then wait about 10 minutes before applying makeup. Applying makeup too soon can disrupt the sunscreen and reduce coverage and efficacy.

Total time for daytime routine: 20-30 minutes, before applying makeup.

NIGHTTIME ROUTINE – geared toward repair and rebuilding.

Repeat steps 1 through 5 from your morning routine.

Step 6: Treatment

Apply serums that contain any of the plethoras of active ingredients currently available – ATP, stem cells, peptides, minerals, antioxidants. This is a sure way to support the skin while you sleep. Choose a few of the ingredients to alternate every night and follow instructions by the manufacturer or as advised by your aesthetician, to avoid any reactions and get the best results.

Allow five minutes before the next step.

Step 7: Night Cream

Apply the cream over the face and neck, which should take around one to two minutes.

If you want to use a facial roller or gua sha tool, this is the moment to do it. Then wait at least 10 minutes before going to bed, so all the products that have been applied don’t end up on the pillow.

Total time for nighttime routine: 20-25 minutes.

“Invest in your skin. It is going to represent you for a very long time.” – Linden Tyler

For more beauty and skincare tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness (323) 653–4701 or email us at skinsense@skinsensewellness.com. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We will be happy to see you. 

“Dear body hair, if I’ve been waxing, plucking, and shaving every time you show up, I think you should get the hint.”

Shaving cream, razors, tweezers, hair removal cream, wax strips, scissors — the list goes on and on and on. But no matter what I use to get my body hair off, it seems to grow back almost immediately. It’s exhausting! I almost gave up on achieving hairless nirvana.

Removal of body hair has a long and complex history, dating all the way back to The Stone Age, 100,000 years ago. Cavemen used flint blades, seashells, and other sharp objects to shave off all body hair. Hair removal then was done for practical reasons: to prevent frostbite (especially during the Ice Age, when the unending winter would make the water freeze on their body hair), to remove a potential breeding ground for parasites like mites and lice, and to take away any advantage an adversary might have in a brawl by grabbing.

The practice of removing female body hair can be traced back to ancient Rome and Egypt. Some of the first razors, made of copper, were used in Egypt and India around 3000 BCE. Egyptian women removed their head hair and considered pubic hair uncivilized. Upper-class Roman women of the sixth century BCE used tweezers, pumice stones, and depilatories to achieve the desired degree of hairlessness, while Egyptians of Cleopatra’s time used a sugar mixture in a method similar to waxing and sugaring techniques used today. Elizabethan women removed their eyebrows and hair from their foreheads to give themselves longer brows. Think Elizabeth I.

Fashion trends and even war have been part of the growth in popularity of hair removal, and it has long been used to classify a women’s place in society throughout history.

There are several ways for people to de-fuzz and get rid of body hair. Here are 7 of the most popular methods.

 RAZORS

Shaving is quick, easy, convenient, and inexpensive. There are now specially manufactured women’s razors with fewer blades. Although shaving is painless, it can cause cuts or razor burns, skin irritation, and ingrown hair.

To avoid these issues:

  • use a body scrub before shaving to lift the hair
  • shave after a shower when hair is soft, and the skin is free of any excess oil or dead skin cells that may clog the blade
  • always use a shaving gel or cream to protect the skin,
  • shave in the direction the hair grows to avoid razor burns
  • rinse the razor after every swipe to avoid irritation
  • and make sure to apply a body lotion when finished.

DEPILATORIES OR HAIR REMOVAL CREAMS

These creams contain alkaline ingredients that break down keratin in the hair, applied like a body lotion, and within a few minutes wiped off along with the unwanted hair. Painless, inexpensive, easy to use, and the good news is that nowadays they smell much more pleasant – unlike the rotten egg scent of the older versions.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work. Some users have reported that it doesn’t remove all the hair the first time around. In addition, those with sensitive skin may experience discomfort and skin irritation – from a mild tingling or a burning sensation to a rash.

It’s always best to test the product on a small area of your skin before using it to see how your skin reacts.

 WAXING

There are many kinds of wax available today. Cool, warm, crème, hard, resin – the list is a long one. They all work pretty much the same – wax is spread on the area you want to remove hair from and a strip of cloth is then placed on top of the area and pulled off quickly so the hair, including the follicle, gets pulled along with it. The result is a smooth, hairless skin that lasts 3-4 weeks. If done regularly over a period of time, results may last longer as the hair root weakens and the hair becomes finer.

However, depending on your pain tolerance, waxing can be painful as the hair is pulled off from the root. Also, waxing can cause inflamed hair follicles, redness, ingrown hairs, and skin irritation. So, it would be best to splurge on the process and go to a salon. In between salon visits, use a body exfoliant regularly to reduce ingrown hairs.

 SUGARING

Sugaring is an ancient method of removing unwanted hair that has become popular in recent years. Most products contain sugar, lemon, and water, and are heated to make a sticky syrup that can cling to hair to help pull them out, similar to waxing. It is said to brighten tattoos in some instances.

Though your skin may be less irritated than with waxing, you may still experience some irritation and inflammation with sugaring. As with waxing, keep the skin clean after treatment to help avoid infection in the ingrown areas.

THREADING

Threading has been around for centuries where twisted cotton threads are rolled over hairlines to pluck unwanted hair. It is a very skilled procedure that can remove the tiniest of hairs and gives a very precise, clean result that lasts for two to four weeks. It’s great for clients who prefer to avoid chemicals and heat.

However, threading only works on flat surfaces, like the brows.

ELECTROLYSIS

For more permanent options, electrolysis removes hair and prevents hair growth. A teeny tiny probe is inserted into your pore, zap it with electricity to kill the hair follicle, and tweezers to pull out the dead hair.

Make sure you go to an experienced electrologist – there is a risk of scarring and hyperpigmentation in the wrong hands. Although time-consuming and more expensive, electrolysis is the only permanent hair removal process endorsed by the FDA.

LASER HAIR REMOVAL

Laser hair removal uses a concentrated beam of light (laser) that is absorbed by the pigment of the hair damaging the tube-shaped sacs within the skin (hair follicles) that produce hair. This damage inhibits or delays future hair growth.

Multiple sessions over the course of a few months may be needed to see long-term results. The upfront costs of the procedure will be way more expensive than a pack of razors, but the results gained from a series of treatments are long-lasting. And the procedure gets rid of ingrown hairs.

However, there is a risk of hyperpigmentation so once again, go to a reputable laser clinic that can use the right laser for your skin type.

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Whatever hair removal option you choose, make sure you are doing it correctly, and don’t forget to take care of your skin. In this way, you get the best results.

For more beauty and skincare tips, check out my website, call us at Skinsense Wellness (323) 653–4701 or email us at skinsense@skinsensewellness.com. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We will be happy to see you. 

First God created man, then he had a better idea…

What’s the difference between men and women… besides our genitals, of course? It’s pretty interesting how, biologically speaking, we all start out as women. So, you’re a little embryo – a little fetus, and around 5 – 6 weeks if you have a Y chromosome it develops, and you start making testosterone and sexually differentiate.

However, the differences between male and female skin only emerge from puberty and onwards. These variations determine the type of skincare routine and products one should use, so let’s compare…

Skin Thickness

Dermatologists have found that the male dermis is about 20% thicker than a woman’s and that is why men tend to have fewer superficial fine lines than women. But they are more prone to the deep wrinkles that are caused by repeated facial expressions. Frown and smile lines for example.

Collagen and elastin production

Both men and women have specific hormones which help promote collagen and elastin production. Testosterone in men and estrogen in women. Collagen and elastin are proteins that act as the main building blocks in the skin, keeping it tight and firm.

As we age the level of both proteins diminishes. While this process happens to both men and women, they taper off at different rates. Men lose collagen and elastin at a constant rate throughout their adulthood, but gradually. Women start losing both less quickly until they hit menopause, and then the loss happens very rapidly and results in thinning, saggy skin, and wrinkles.

Oil levels and pore issues

Sebum, the skin’s natural oil, helps hydrate the skin and mixes with fat molecules to form a protective coating on the skin, defending it from harmful pathogens and bacteria.

But too much of a good thing can become a problem. Men have more oil glands or sebaceous glands than women. In fact, it has been estimated that men produce twice as much sebum than women overall. They also have larger and a higher number of pores. This combination can result in clogging and lead to acne.

Shaving doesn’t help either. It exacerbates the skin surface and can cause irritation, ingrown hairs, and even more breakouts – particularly if the beard growth is heavy and curly.

Impact of lifestyle choices on skin

Although genes play a role in how we age as a whole, our lifestyle choices can also have a powerful effect. Unfortunately, men often engage in behaviors that can speed up skin aging.

Exposure to UV rays is a primary cause of premature wrinkles in both men and women. However, men are more likely to work outdoors than women and spend long periods of time in the sun without protection – sunscreen and hats for example.

Bad habits like smoking, not getting enough sleep or exercise, and poor diet can factor in too.

Finally, men generally lack the same skin care knowledge that women are taught from an early age. This gives them a significant disadvantage in preventing wrinkles and in recognizing the signs of aging.

Skincare Advice for Men

To keep your skin in the best possible condition, cleanse every morning and evening with a non-irritating product suitable for your skin type. Keep your skin moisturized and if it is oily choose a non-greasy face lotion which will keep your face feeling hydrated all day without causing blocked pores.

If you have a beard covering part of your face, it’s especially important to keep the skin underneath it properly hydrated. Dryness under the beard can be uncomfortable, resulting in itchy, flaky skin, and even beard dandruff.

Skincare Advice for Women

Every good skincare routine starts with washing your face using a cleanser that offers gentle exfoliation and anti-aging benefits — think AHA acids, plant-derived enzymes, or even fermented ingredients. Then use an antioxidant serum containing a cocktail of vitamins — most popular are vitamin C, vitamin E, ferulic acid, resveratrol, and niacinamide —to guard against free radical development that causes degradation of precious collagen.

For moisturizers, look for a formula that contains hydrating ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, squalene, and glycerin. These formulas will replenish skin and lock in hydration for the day.

A good eye cream that depuffs and hydrates the eye area, and a collagen-boosting product like a peptide cream or growth factor serum are also great additions to a morning skincare routine.

Lastly, for both men and women, apply sunscreen. A mineral SPF of at least 30 with zinc oxide and antioxidants to support protection against environmental pollution.

For more skincare and wellness tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or email us at skinsense@skinsensewellness.com. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We will be happy to see you.

“In a rose, all love stories fit, and in a love story the air smells of roses” – Efrat Cybulkiewicz

Legend has it that Cleopatra would bath in a mixture of rose water, milk and honey to keep her skin soft. She was obviously on to something because she was famous for her great beauty, and of course her power. Fast forward 2000 years, and the rose is still all the rage in skincare, beauty and wellness treatments.

Recognized for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it’s no surprise that it has become an increasingly popular ingredient in skin care products. Rose oil contains a variety of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals and is fantastic for tackling a multitude of skin issues.

There are two main types of rose that are valued in the cosmetic industry: the Damask Rose (Rosa damascena) and the Cabbage Rose (Rosa centifolia). Damask roses are the preferred variety for their sweet fragrance, their potency against bacteria and anti-aging compounds. But essential oils from both of these have distinct benefits for our skin and wellbeing.

Skin protection

Rose contains a number of powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals. This helps to strengthen and protect skin cells from environmental damage, and regenerate skin tissue.

Skin hydration

While rose is great for all skin types, it is especially suited to treat dry and aged skin due to its extremely hydrating properties. Used on its own, or under a moisturizer in the form of an essential oil or serum, rose extract strengthens the skin barrier and seals in moisture.

Antiaging properties

Two of the antioxidants found in rose oil arevitamins A and C, both of which can help with aging skin. Apart from smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, these vitamins help to reduce the appearance of age spots and aid with collagen production. Vitamin C also helps to protect the skin from UV exposure.

To soothe skin irritation

Rose oil is widely used for its calming benefits. It soothes redness and rosacea and any surface itchiness or irritation. Rose hip oil, in particular, contains fatty acids which are ideal for treating inflammatory conditions, including eczema and psoriasis.

Heals cuts, scars, and burns

Rose water has antiseptic and antibacterial properties which can help fight infection and heal wounds and burns faster.

Hair moisturizer

If you have dry, frizzy hair, especially in the wintertime, a few sprays of rose water can help tame your mane.

Mood enhancer

Because of its very pleasant and calming smell, rose oil can be used in a room diffuser to help boost self-esteem, confidence and mental strength as wells as diminish feelings of anxiety and depression.

Here’s how to use it:

Rose essential oil is expensive and potent. A small amount goes a long way and blends well with jojoba oil, grapeseed, sweet almond and argan oil.

For your bath: Add about 5-7 drops of rose oil to a carrier oil of your choice and then add the mixture to your warm bath for a relaxing experience.

As a soak for your foot: Add 4-5 drops of rose essential oil to warm water and soak your feet in it.

For anxiety relief: Diffuse rose essential oil for calmness or you can also dab some diluted rose oil on your wrists, neck, and chest.

While rose water can be used in a number of different ways:

As a facial cleanser or toner: Just rinse your face with rose water after washing with your regular cleanser.

As a skin mist: Put rose water in a spray bottle and mist on your wrist, face, or even your pillow.

(Rose water and rose essential oil are used in aromatherapy to help relieve headaches this way.)

As a refreshing drink: Add to regular water for tastier hydration or mix in lemonade, iced tea and other drink recipes.

Suffice to say that stopping to smell the roses (along with dabbing, slathering, soaking, etc.) truly has some magical benefits.

For more skincare and wellness tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or email us at skinsense@skinsensewellness.com. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We will be happy to see you.

“I got to get my life together. This crazy heat made me realize I can’t go to hell.”

I am very fair skinned… I mean really fair skinned. I can get sunburned wearing high SPF lotion. Yesterday, I was in the sun for five minutes loading groceries into my car. My cheeks are still reddish and warm. Suffice to say, I’m ultra-sensitive to sun and heat.

Well… the heat is on again. As a matter of fact, a brutal heat wave is scorching parts of India and Pakistan now causing health concerns, among others. Of course, climate change and global warming are to blame for the alarmingly high temperatures.

Global warming alone causes free radical damage to the skin unimaginable in the past when life was generally cooler, globally. The result on the skin is pigmentation, brown patches, and accelerated aging.

But along with global warming, we also unknowingly expose our poor skin to other heat sources causing further damage.

Certain types of exercise like hot spinning and hot yoga maybe good for the body and mind, but not always for the skin. People who do hot yoga more than five times a week are getting more discoloration and persistent redness. And wearing sunscreen apparently doesn’t seem to help.

Working in a kitchen or bakery can have the same effects too.  

According to a study from Seoul National University College of Medicine, just 30 minutes of heat exposure three times a week for six straight weeks is enough to change your skin. It causes protective antioxidant levels in the skin to drop and genes to create MMP or Matrix Metalloproeinases. These are proteins that break down collagen and elastin, causing wrinkles.

Heat also triggers melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells within our skin. MMP’s and melanocytes both have positive roles to play in protecting the skin from damage and keeping it healthy, but when over stimulated by heat, they can be very damaging. And heat, when experienced regularly, can penetrate as deeply as the sun’s rays.

What’s more? If you’re Asian, African American, or Latina, susceptibility to hyperpigmentation is genetic. Excessive heat just adds fuel to that fire.

But enough of the bad news already… now that you know how bad heat can be for the skin, you can always reduce your exposure – less of that hot spin and hot yoga classes.

If, however, getting exposed to heat cannot be avoided, here’s a few things you can do to protect your skin:

  1. Use mineral-based sunscreens and foundations that contain physical blocks like zinc oxide. They are great at fighting sun damage and heat.
  2. Mineral sprays used throughout the day can also keep the skin cool. Just remember to reapply sunscreen.
  3. Refrigerate your skin treatment products like masks and moisturizing gels and use them immediately after a cool shower and exposure to heat.
  4. Use daily moisturizers and serums that contain copper, magnesium, selenium, radish root and niacinamide. And of course, those powerful antioxidants – C and E.

Finally, don’t forget to wear a good strong deodorant. The last thing you want to be worrying about is odor from the heat sweats.

For more skincare tips, visit our website, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or email us at skinsense@skinsensewellness.com. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We will be happy to see you.

“Hot one minute, then freezing the next. I’m pretty sure spring is a woman.”

The cold never bothered me… just kidding. I’m so glad that winter is finally over, and Spring is here! It’s nice to be able to spend more time outside – the weather is nice and warm, flowers are abloom, the grass is greener, and the air is fresh.

It’s also perfect skin season, after the dry, flaky winter and before greasy, sweaty summer… eew! However, beautiful spring skin doesn’t just happen with the change of season. It takes time, effort, commitment, and a change of regimen.

As you would spring clean your home, you need to do spring cleaning for your skin as well – outside and inside. Here’s a few easy changes to your skincare routine for perfect spring skin.

  1. Start exfoliating to get that dead winter skin off, making skin brighter. For the body, do some vigorous dry brushing, followed by a good soak and scrub session in the bathtub. Then slather on a body lotion. As for the face, gently exfoliate with a gentle scrub or silicone brush that doesn’t scratch the skin surface. Also, book a light AHA/BHA enzyme treatment with your aesthetician.
  2. Switch to a light moisturizer. As the temperatures and humidity increase, we no longer need the heavy creams to keep our skin moisturized, and heavy products can feel sticky and greasy. Add a C serum to your morning routine then apply a light gel-based moisturizer. Choose one with hyaluronic acid (HA) for use at night to help protect the skin barrier from the allergens and pollution in the air as we indulge in more outdoor activities.
  3. Upgrade your SPF. Now that the weather is getting warmer, you really need to start wearing sunscreen. The earth is physically closer to the sun during warmer months, so UV rays are stronger. If you have been diligent with wearing sunscreen, even in the winter months, increase the SPF to at least 50 and make sure your sunscreen products offer broad-spectrum protection. 
  4. Use Facial Mists. We know that drinking adequate amounts of water is important for the skin. But when you are outside, facial mists work on the skin instantly to keep it well hydrated, help it regain brightness, and remove dryness. Mists are also effective in eliminating excess sweat, keeping the skin clean and bacteria-free. 
  5. Take supplements. Make sure you have vitamins E, C, and zinc to boost the skin’s immune system and avoid sun damage, fish or flaxseed oil capsules and probiotics for your internal immune system, and milk thistle if you want to do a gentle liver cleanse. 
  6. Exercise. With the beautiful warmer weather, it would be nice to get outside, jog a few miles, ride your bike or swim. All this exercise and physical activity helps to get healthier, fresher, and smoother skin. 
  7. Lighten the diet. Add the following to your grocery list: asparagus, blueberries, pineapple, grapefruit, beets, and pomegranates. All of these fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants that aid digestion, give you lots of energy, and radiant skin. Cinnamon, green juice, and abstaining from alcohol also works wonders for the skin.
  8. Spring clean your beauty arsenal. Keep nothing that is more than six months old. Go through your skincare products, check the expiration dates, and toss accordingly. Keep in mind that even if a product hasn’t been opened, active ingredients will become less potent and less effective over time.

Make these minor Spring skincare changes along with a healthy and active lifestyle and feel your skin glowing all year long.

For more skincare tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out my other blogs. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We will be happy to see you.

“In winter my favorite outdoor activity is going back inside.”

Baby it’s cold outside… No, seriously it’s freakin’ cold. And this winter weather is just wreaking havoc on my skin. Argh! The harsh, cold outside air combined with the increase in central heating (which, spoiler alert, is also bad for the skin) make it seem like I’m destined for several months of dull, dry, and itchy skin.

So, how do we take care of our skin through this cold snap, especially if you still want to enjoy your winter fun? Luckily, this year, skincare salons are open again so beyond stepping up hydration at home, we can get facials that detox, replenish, and truly rejuvenate the skin.

Here are three of my go-to treatments to avoid winter skin:

For Clean skin

Oxygen — this extensive deep-cleansing and invigorating treatment leaves pores squeaky clean, and the skin brightened and energized. Perfect for dealing with Maskne! It involves spraying highly concentrated molecules of oxygen right into the outer layer of your skin. The oxygen that’s applied to your face and neck is infused with vitamins, minerals, essential nutrients, and botanical extracts.

The addition of a cocoa enzyme, a great antioxidant, to the oxygen procedure increases circulation and results in an even more stimulating facial. At the end of the treatment, a blend of hyaluronic acid and peptides are applied to ensure that holiday glow.

For Hydrated skin

Galvanic electrotherapy — if you need a really deep moisturizing facial, this is the treatment for you. A direct galvanic current is used for infusing water-soluble substances into the skin. The soft or low-intensity electrical current (charged particles) can reach the inner layers of the skin and delivers a high level of hydration especially for those of us concerned about aging. Plus, this is a relaxing experience as the electrodes roll across those tense facial muscles. What’s more? The results of the treatment will last for days.

This procedure delivers that ageless dewy look we see on all those classic movie stars.

For Skin Tightening

Microcurrent — has the pandemic left you feeling a little saggy? This treatment introduces a gentle electric current that re-educates the muscles and gets those collagen elves working to increase production of collagen and elastin in the dermis. It offers the ultimate in tightening and firming.

It’s not the most comfortable of treatments and is best done in a series of six sessions with monthly or quarterly follow-ups. It can also be included in a full facial procedure for the first visit and really gets the skin feeling toned for the holidays.

A light application of lactic or mandelic acid can be added to any of these procedures and is suitable for pretty much any skin type. With all these skincare treatment options, you won’t need to turn on the Christmas lights to dazzle.

For more skincare tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out our other blogs. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are happy to welcome you all back.

“Dear acne, the saying ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it’ does not apply to you.”

In my past blogs I’ve mentioned that I suffered from acne in my teens. Curiously, they were not confined only on my face but on my body too, particularly on my back. They were huge and red; it was painful… enough to warrant a visit to the dermatologist. After consistent application of medication and following the doctor’s advice, it cleared up after 6 months or so.

While the face is a common site for acne, it can affect any body part that has oil-secreting glands or hair follicles, including your chest, shoulders, and your back. In fact, back acne, also referred to as bacne, affects more than half of people with acne. Bacne is the result of an accumulation of dead skin cells and oil [sebum] within the pores in the skin, combined with an overgrowth of a common skin bacteria, Cutibacterium acnes, which triggers an inflammatory response.

Bacne can be particularly stubborn to eliminate, hard to prevent, and can leave deep scars. As with acne on the face, bacne is most common in teens and young adults, in the years when the sebaceous glands are most active because of hormonal fluctuations. But it can also appear at different times according to a person’s health and lifestyle.

Here are a few self-care tips to get rid of bacne, keep your back clear and acne-free, and prevent it from coming back… no pun intended.

1.Shower regularly especially after a workout.

Poor hygiene won’t cause bacne, but good hygiene will help prevent it and clear blemishes. I recommend daily showers and immediately after exercise or any activity that generates perspiration.

2. Exercise safely.

Exercise increases circulation and generates heat, which causes increased production of skin oils and perspiration, perfect food for bacteria. Always change into clean clothes before and after exercising and put a clean towel on exercise machines and mats at the gym. These days most equipment is kept extra clean and sanitized so that’s a bonus.

Avoid synthetic fabrics; choose cotton and light-weight, loose-fitting clothes that allow the skin to breathe and perspiration to evaporate quickly.

3. Keep fabrics clean.

Change other fabrics that frequently touch your skin. For clothing, change daily with a clean shirt or top. And change bed linens twice a week to keep sloughed-off skin cells and oil away from your back.

4. Treat gently.

  • Do not shower in really hot water and avoid antibacterial soaps, astringents, and abrasive scrubs that can make your acne worse.
  • Choose body washes that say, “noncomedogenic” or “oil-free” on the package to avoid clogging your pores. Tea tree body wash and lotions work well.
  • Exfoliate gently two to three times a week using a soft sponge and a mild scrub. Change the sponge regularly as sponges can harbor bacteria.

5. Keep wet hair away.

Conditioner and hair-styling products left on the hair are a frequent cause of blemishes on the back. After shampooing and conditioning in the shower, pull long hair forward and wash the back to keep the residue of hair products off your back. And don’t leave wet hair on your back after swimming.

6. Avoid Excessive Sun Exposure

Contrary to popular belief, the sun will not dry pimples or clear up acne. It simply dries the skin surface making it harder for skin cells to slough off and sebum to be excreted naturally. Sun damages cells and weakens the skin on all parts of the body making it more vulnerable to blemishes and aging.

Use a mineral based facial sunscreen on areas that tend to break out, that includes your back, chest, and shoulders. These SPF’s are formulated to avoid clogging.

7. Use an over-the-counter treatment.

For mild back acne, over-the-counter acne creams and gels containing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, salicylic acid, and sulfur can help get rid of blemishes and prevent new ones from popping up.

8. Watch your diet

Keep a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and well sourced protein, and avoiding sugar and fats, helps to keep skin clearer. Drinking plenty of water and minimizing alcohol intake can also help.

9. Visit the salon

In the last month we’ve seen an uptick in the demand for back facials in my salon. This time of year, a series of back facials is a great idea. The whole back area from waste to neck is treated to a full facial procedure. Clearing the back during the winter months means you will be ready for the joys of summer next year.

If self-care measures, home remedies, and salon treatments don’t improve back acne, make an appointment with a dermatologist.

For more wellness tips, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out our other blogs. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are happy to welcome you all back.